Definition of welfare in English:



  • 1The health, happiness, and fortunes of a person or group:

    ‘they don't give a damn about the welfare of their families’
    • ‘There's an interesting conference about animal welfare going on somewhere at the moment.’
    • ‘However, housing some birds would not be in their interest where health and welfare is concerned.’
    • ‘Our paramount concerns are for his and other patient's welfare and safety.’
    • ‘It is your programme in writing for managing health, safety and welfare within your business.’
    • ‘It's total disregard for the financial and emotional welfare of everyone involved.’
    • ‘After a month or so a programme of home visits begins, and enquiries are made about the health and general welfare of each family.’
    • ‘They should not only care for the welfare of the children, but should also have financial knowledge.’
    • ‘If you are interested in animal welfare there are two young dogs urgently in need of homes.’
    • ‘We have been let down by people who should have been looking after Laura's health and welfare and we are all devastated.’
    • ‘He has not been heard from since, and there are grave concerns for his safety and welfare.’
    • ‘He was found guilty of failing to ensure the health, safety and welfare of his employees.’
    • ‘We need to ensure that no one has to put the health and welfare of his or her family at risk in order to keep a job.’
    • ‘This type of cost cutting threatens the health and welfare of local residents.’
    • ‘All or most states already have laws to protect the health and welfare of animals.’
    • ‘The confidentiality was agreed to protect the interests and welfare of the student.’
    • ‘Provision for the pupils' care, health, safety and welfare is very good.’
    • ‘He said that the health, safety and welfare of officers was always of concern.’
    • ‘The agency said the decision was taken to ensure the children's safety and welfare.’
    • ‘He had no thought but for me, my welfare, my comfort, my safety, my happiness.’
    • ‘Its bosses say they are looking to reduce sugar and fat for the health and welfare of us all.’
    • ‘Their help and support over the past few months have made an immense difference to the welfare and happiness of our family.’
    • ‘Tributes are being paid to a North Yorkshire woman who was devoted to the protection and welfare of cats.’
    well-being, health, good health, happiness, comfort, security, safety, protection, prosperity, profit, good, success, fortune, good fortune, advantage, interest, prosperousness, successfulness
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  • 2Statutory procedure or social effort designed to promote the basic physical and material well-being of people in need:

    ‘the protection of rights to education, housing, and welfare’
    • ‘Social welfare service employees and municipal inspectors are also on strike.’
    • ‘Mr. Rector has advocated devoting much more federal welfare money for promoting marriage.’
    • ‘In part, this reflects the fact that such groups are benefiting from welfare privatisation.’
    • ‘Political involvement was the foundation of all social welfare and public service.’
    • ‘They also tend to spend more time on study and meditation and less on social affairs and community welfare programmes.’
    • ‘To be sure, every increase in wages and social welfare measures boosts demand.’
    • ‘I am proud of our social welfare system and the safety net it provides for those who need it.’
    • ‘The youth criminal justice system is expanding into areas that child welfare services would once have intervened in.’
    • ‘Health spending, welfare and aged care benefits are seen as the main culprits.’
    • ‘On public sector privatisation and cuts in welfare benefits, Labour and the Tories are united.’
    • ‘They want more spent on education, health and welfare and they want it now.’
    • ‘Workers remembered the privatisations, sackings, and attacks on social security and welfare.’
    • ‘Firstly immigrants and refugees are not a drain on the NHS and the social welfare services.’
    • ‘Statutory welfare agencies have also used the threat of criminalization to secure compliance to new social norms.’
    • ‘In the six years since Labour came to power we have seen our public services and welfare system eroded almost into extinction.’
    • ‘Social welfare, designed to fill the gap where the family can no longer provide, hardly exists.’
    • ‘In this argument charity is private benevolence and social welfare is public.’
    1. 2.1North American Financial support given to those who are unemployed or otherwise in need:
      ‘critics feared an increase in inequalities in the provision of welfare’
      • ‘We must look behind these numbers to see if how families fare after leaving welfare.’
      • ‘We know that real jobs are a better guarantee of prosperity for the unemployed than welfare.’
      • ‘Welfare benefits are being reduced and new provisions introduced to restrict access to welfare.’
      • ‘Dependency on welfare was growing and approaching the peak it would reach in 1995.’
      • ‘The workers are demanding an expansion and prompt payment of welfare benefits to the unemployed.’
      • ‘What got me back was that I was on food stamps and welfare and I had a family to support.’
      • ‘The implications for long-term funding of welfare and pensions is profound.’
      • ‘America, rightly or wrongly, spends a great deal on welfare.’
      • ‘First, cuts in welfare and other social programs have reduced government health insurance.’
      • ‘A decade ago, some Chumash still relied on welfare and donated clothing.’
      • ‘The Government wants to keep putting up taxes in order to support its welfare expenditure.’
      social security, benefit, state benefit, benefit payment, public assistance
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Middle English: from the adverb well + the verb fare.